As the first Givenchy show since the announcement of Clare Waight Keller as the new artistic director (after Tisci’s departure), we’re all tempted to look for her aesthetic signature. But we won’t find it yet. The team noted that the monochromatic lineup came from the women’s studios before Keller’s arrival on scene just a few weeks before the runway show. Sticking to the house codes, the team took inspiration from several spots across the city of Rome.
It played a bit like a continuation of Riccardo Tisci’s parting study in red, but perhaps a bit less dramatic. The looks started out at the Museum of Roman Civilization in gauzy white tulle and delicate lace, contrasting with structured tailoring to mimic the backdrop of wide marble columns. In a quick jump, the looks went from ethereal to androgynous, with the head-to-toe gauzy caped lace number to an oversized tracksuit.
Fuchsia looks popped against the Palestra del Duce, a familiar Neo-gothic backdrop once frequented by dictator Benito Mussolini as his personal gym. These pieces had more edge, like the covet-worthy low-cut velvet bodysuit under a faux fringed longline asymmetric jacket. A snarling rottweiler sweatshirt peaked out from under a loose silk top knotted at the neck, with sheer sleeves that suddenly connect to an oversized structured chute at the elbow. The top fell delicately over silken trousers. And I want the entire look. Right. Now. I am definitely a fan of the corset dress with a strappy décolletage and vertical line ruffles. And did you see those boots?! LOVE.
The final portion of intense blue looks was shot at Corviale, an urban housing project just southwest of Rome. Perhaps the color choice intentional for the blue collar, these looks took inspiration from workwear, with the same looks mirrored in both playful organza as well as a utilitarian cotton. A gossamer organza utility zip-up jumpsuit (over a fantastic pair of mules) looked chic, while its cotton counterpart gave off more overt street vibes. Parkas and flounce skirts also appeared in in organza and utilitarian cotton, as well as a minidress with lace-up plexiglass peeptoe boots, injecting a fresh sense of mirth.
Considering the fact that no singular voice is at the helm as an artistic director, this is a very solid collection, leaving Givenchy poised to welcome Keller with plenty of options to pick a new direction.